Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: Assiduous, Unrelenting

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Can I just take the opportunity to thank Russell for suggesting that I post this here? Sharing the trip with you all has been a thrill.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Can I just take the opportunity to thank Russell for suggesting that I post this here? Sharing the trip with you all has been a thrill.

    You underrate yourself: I tapped you because you write so well.

    Although, as others have pointed out, doing so in your second language is unforgivably smartass.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I met an old Italian gentleman in Hastings who hails from Veneto and in his youth used to travel to Ferrara to swap his wine with bread

    I may have misunderstood the sacrament but holy crap you met Jesus in Hastings?


    Beautiful writing - on Tuesday night my family found a bunch of slides of my Grandfather's from the late 60's/early 70's. Unbelievable shots of Piha, Mount Maunganui and a very low-rise Auckland from North Head. But most importantly the people in those places - watching my Grandmother see them was almost tear-inducing...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I may have misunderstood the sacrament but holy crap you met Jesus in Hastings?

    We did stay at the Fantasyland Motel, but I don't think it was a vision. Plus I believe Jesus turned water into wine, not wine into bread. Had he done the latter, he would have been kicked out of the venue I would think.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Wilson,

    Giovanni - thank you so much for sharing your trip. It's been a fabulous read.

    Safe return.

    Nth Canty • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Had he done the latter, he would have been kicked out of the venue I would think.

    Ha.
    "Oh great, thanks pal. That was a lovely '04 Pinot, was quite looking forward to that..."

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Although, as others have pointed out, doing so in your second language is unforgivably smartass.

    I know! I feel so inadequate. And hungry for fresh bread.

    (I seem to have missed an instalment while I was away. Off to hunt for it...)

    Gareth, my grandfather and my mother recently had their slides from the 50s, 60s and 70s converted to DVD. I'm totally obsessed with them and often get mesmerised by my own photo slideshow screensaver. It is weird and cool to have them recontextualised for the world of Flickr, too.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Danielle I don't suppose you know where they did that? Would love to do similar.

    Even putting aside the mushy family remembrance, some of the photos themselves were amazing - one in particular of my Aunty in the foreground with Lion Rock looming out of a stormy sky behind here was Magnum-esque!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    Local water as a key ingredient - I've just bought a ginger beer plant from the US, and the instructions on that say not to use chlorinated tap water as it interferes with the yeast growth. It's not something I've ever considered in making either bread or ginger beer, but it seems logical given chlorine's effect on other organisms.

    Swapping for a non-chlorinated source of water might make a difference, even if you can't import the acqua ferrarese.

    Using bottled water for the entire volume of my ginger beer seems unreasonable, but I reckon I'll keep the plant itself in the purer stuff until I get a bit more confident in keeping it alive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think a lot of photo places in malls act as agents, and will take your box of slides and send them away to a conversion company (whose name I now can't remember, sorry). My mother just brought hers in to the Kodak place in Westcity mall in Henderson, and two weeks later, back they came with an attached DVD.

    It's reasonably pricey - $150 for up to 500 slides, I think. But *so* worth it, if you're into that stuff.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Swapping for a non-chlorinated source of water might make a difference, even if you can't import the acqua ferrarese.

    Using bottled water for the entire volume of my ginger beer seems unreasonable

    I could get you guys some lovely clean aquifer water, very reasonable rates.

    Giovanni, I'm loving these columns. They make me feel all homesick for something.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    My mum dug up my dad's old super 8 films from the 70s and is getting them converted to dvd, but the results are mixed. Lots of messing around with zooming and panning, lots of flower shots, and hardly any of actual people or things that have changed over time. The only good subjects in my family were my cousins who were too young to be camera-shy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "I could get you guys some lovely clean aquifer water, very reasonable rates."

    Not for long. Jimmy A want floride in it and Bob Parker has already sold it to David Henderson for $1 (well he might have?!)


    Also the Riccarton Bush Trust are wanting to change the original Act for the Trust so that they CAN CHARGE an entre fee for the Bush & the House which are free and by an act of Parliment supported with big $$.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    I touched in my two previous posts on the role of food and objects, and a lot more could be said of rituals and symbols and language...

    and the music!

    Luigi Tenco (arr. Ennio Morricone), "Quello che conta", 1962

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    They make me feel all homesick for something.

    Turangawaewae.

    A few years ago I visited Israel. I remember my Dad pointing out that some area was named after the plain where David fought Goliath. And then we both realised, it WAS the plain where David fought Goliath. I walked through Hezekiah's tunnel, dug through to the spring on Gihon more than 2000 years ago and the adze marks were still visible on the walls. Lots of *duh* moments like that happened during that visit, and they blurred into a sense of being at the end of a long continuum that reached far back.

    There are parts of New Zealand I feel very attached to, and some of them feature in family history, but I think that if like most Pakeha you have moved around, and your parents moved around, and you don't have any stories about where you are that go back further than 100 years, you are unanchored in a way that you cannot know until you go somewhere where the thread of connection is long, unbroken and obvious. That is what I feel homesick for when I read these posts.

    Of course the price you pay for being anchored in place is not ever leaving nonna-range...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    Using bottled water for the entire volume of my ginger beer seems unreasonable, but I reckon I'll keep the plant itself in the purer stuff until I get a bit more confident in keeping it alive

    Seeing as you are in Wellies, head for Te Puna Wai Ora (The Spring of Life) - a well of untreated pure artesian water on Buick Street in Petone (just before the intersection with Jackson Street). Saturday mornings can be quite busy as home brewers line up next to hippies to fill their containers. It's good stuff and like the best things in life - free.

    Te Puna Wai Ora

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report Reply

  • B Jones,

    That's fantastic, thank you. I've heard of the tap by the Speight Brewery in Dunedin but didn't realise Wellington had an equivalent.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 976 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    It's reasonably pricey - $150 for up to 500 slides, I think. But *so* worth it, if you're into that stuff.

    Completely agree - thanks for the info.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    Lovely stuff again. I hope Joseph appreciates the strong roots you are giving him.

    My mum is currently writing the story of her childhood for my kids. She was a preschooler in England when WWII broke out so it's a very different world to the one my boys know. Every time we visit she's got another chapter ready to hand over and she tries to link it in to what's going on in their lives so she wrote about starting school around the time my oldest did. It's the most wonderful thing and is bringing us all enormous joy.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i agree. great and evocative writing. i find myself casting my minds eye back to similar journeys i've made. the trip to drink from the same stream that kept my first new zealand ancestor alive was a memorable one.

    but onto water.

    i think you can leave water standing in a bucket or container for a few hours and most of the floride evaporates? it's what they recommend for water in fish tanks for example.

    that said, i've the feeling that it's the minerals in the italian water that makes the magic, not what we have in ours.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    i think you can leave water standing in a bucket or container for a few hours and most of the floride evaporates? it's what they recommend for water in fish tanks for example.

    24 hours was what I used to do when I had fish as a child.

    And it's for chlorine, not fluoride I believe.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Beautiful & evocative writing, thank you .

    And wonderful to water the roots of family in this way. I grew up here in NZ with a fairly old spread out NZ pakeha family on both sides, and with a very strong sense of having family here and in Australia and the UK: It seemed there were always cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins, or great aunts or uncles (even great great aunts! They seemed so ancient!) arriving or going from our home, or we were going to meet them somewhere else. I can't imagine what it is like to be cut off from that knowledge and sense of connection back through the generations. It's great you are cultivating it in your son.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • slarty,

    Venice brought back memories.

    Like my lovely wife commenting:

    "Isn't it nice how all these men have brought their daughters to visit this place"

    Since Nov 2006 • 290 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    Local water as a key ingredient - I've just bought a ginger beer plant from the US, and the instructions on that say not to use chlorinated tap water as it interferes with the yeast growth. It's not something I've ever considered in making either bread or ginger beer, but it seems logical given chlorine's effect on other organisms.

    I make ginger beer from dried yeast and dried ginger from the supermarket, white sugar, lemon zest and juice, and ordinary Auckland tap water. I make it in 1.5 l plastic bottles and it's ready to drink in less than 24 hours. Nothing purist about it, but it's really easy, tastes fine, and doesn't burst like glass bottles used to. The chlorine seems to have no ill effects, and your fancy imported bug is just ordinary old yeast. The dry stuff is fine as long as it's not too old.

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Local water as a key ingredient - I've just bought a ginger beer plant from the US, and the instructions on that say not to use chlorinated tap water as it interferes with the yeast growth. It's not something I've ever considered in making either bread or ginger beer, but it seems logical given chlorine's effect on other organisms.

    That's very good to know, but in terms of this bread the water in Ferrara would have changed quite a bit since early last century, though, and was probably chlorinated at times, if it isn't so to this day (I don't know that). Plus for all we know, the key ingredient might in fact be a local poison... But I'm inclined to think it's all myth circulated by the local bakers and that it ought to be possible to make it anywhere, once the art has been mastered.

    My mum is currently writing the story of her childhood for my kids. It's the most wonderful thing and is bringing us all enormous joy.

    I bet, your kids are very lucky. Mum is past such endeavours, she toyed with the idea a while ago but it was all a bit too much.

    Venice brought back memories.

    Like my lovely wife commenting:

    "Isn't it nice how all these men have brought their daughters to visit this place"

    Heh! I would have brought my actual young daughter too, but she's second cousin to godzilla and I harboured fears for the city's survival.

    and the music!

    Luigi Tenco (arr. Ennio Morricone), "Quello che conta", 1962

    That's indeed very lovely, Tenco's own personal story is even saddder than that song sounds. But you really, really, really don't want to get me started on the music. Suffice to say that, since we loathe most kids music, we're raising the children on a steady diet of old Milanese cabaret songs, many of which have decidedly adult themes - but then of course if they sing them around the place nobody understands them so the bad parenting doesn't register.

    A few years ago I visited Israel. I remember my Dad pointing out that some area was named after the plain where David fought Goliath. And then we both realised, it WAS the plain where David fought Goliath.

    I cannot begin to understand what that must feel like, sacrality adds a whole other layer. Sometimes I'd like to believe in the relevant religions just so I could take the communion, or be part of the rebuilding of the Ise shrine. But I don't, and the Jewish cultural kinship - which I greatly admire - isn't available to me either. A European atheist perhaps can draw some inspiration from standing on the acropolys, or in campo dei fiori where they burnt Giordano Bruno.


    I'm due to leave the country in the morning, although they scheduled almost every strike possible (buses, trains, the very airport we're using) - but I think we'll manage. At any rate, I'd like to thank everyone for the very kind comments, to which I haven't responded except in the form of private blushing. I'll be back in New Zealand in three days and by the time I touch down the trip is going to feel like a distant memory - as it always does.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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